Ireland wasn't a 'depressed' place, it was an abused colony undergoing repeated near genocides of it's native peoples, most especially in the 1840s. A country that struggled hard in it's early decades of independence until it reaped the benefits of joining what has become the world's most powerful trading bloc. Ireland isn't a static, mythic place. Ireland is a growing, evolving country like everywhere else in the world. Now, in 2020, it is one where families like the Conners live wealthier, more comfortable and more easily upwardly mobile lives with more leisure time, near constant access to free/highly subsidised higher education and earlier retirement than they do in the US. The unwillingness to recognise that the "old country" wasn't preserved in amber the day your great, great grandparents left it, is undoubtedly a pretty big part of why life for people like the Conners is how it is.
And it's deeply insulting to the real people who live in those real, not mythic, countries.